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I was born and raised in Glenview, Illinois. I received a Master of Fine Arts in 1986 from Northern Illinois University. After receiving an Illinois Arts Council Artist-in-Residency Grant in 1989, I moved to Chicago.
I currently teach ceramics at Moraine Valley Community College and Art Appreciation at Harold Washington College, City Colleges of Chicago, as an adjunct faculty member; and as an instructor at Lillstreet Art Center since 1991.
I taught ceramics classes in my West Town and Humboldt Park neighborhood through various funding sources, including after school programs, at Jose de Diego Community Academy, through Lillstreet’s non-profit.
I was asked to conduct three artist residencies at Roberto Clemente High School, through the Museum of Contemporary Art; and programs at local community centers and at Chicago Public Housing Units, through several Neighborhood Arts Assistance Program Grants.
I have created several temporary public art projects. Two addressing community issues were funded by Community Arts Assistance Program grants and a Regional Artist Project Program grant. The first piece, entitled Installation on Division, was displayed in 1991-1992 and dealt with cultural, social and economic divisions.
The second piece, SPIRAL: The Life of Lucy E. Parsons in Chicago, 1873-1942, was installed from 1995-2004 on Chicago Park District property in Wicker Park It was donated to the park in 1997.
The piece was composed of a spiraling bench and a “mailbox” both made of wood, metal mesh, and ceramic tiles with text in Spanish, Polish, and English that told the story of Lucy Ella Gonzalez Parsons, a labor and civil rights activist who once lived in the neighborhood.
The text asked a series of questions relating
to social-justice, housing, and working class issues that paralleled Lucy’s life. The community was invited to drop their written responses in the billboard-like box.
My latest work focuses on smaller-scale hand-built and thrown ceramic objects that combines utilitarian and sculptural forms which address social and political issues—both locally based issues as well as global concerns.
In early 2009, these small-scale sculptures and functional forms were exhibited in a
solo exhibition at Woman Made Gallery
called Rack and Ruin.
My work focuses on the process
of constructing visually appealing
objects that attempt to evoke an uncomfortable emotional response through addressing difficult political and social concerns, and that also
play with the notion of decorative forms.
Whether by embracing traditional functional forms for utilitarian use
or by stretching the idea of their function into unconventional sculptures, my aim is to provoke conversations—to hopefully “whet
the appetite” for dialogue among diverse groups of people within my community and in the larger global community regarding issues of power, greed and injustice.